This topic is near and dear to my heart…because man, almost 4 years ago, my life felt like a MESS! If you are unfamiliar with my story, here’s a quick summary: basically my life did not go according to my plan AT ALL. At 26 years old, I became a first time mom to a beautiful little girl and one week later almost lost my life to a deadly infection. Because of that infection, I received a life-saving hysterectomy…two years after that my husband and I lost 3 babies while pursuing more children with the help IVF and of our [wonderful] gestational surrogate…
And after those momentous life happenings…life would never be the same. I would never be the same Lisa that I was before that…I began searching for my “new normal”. And through that search I discovered what a beautiful mess it really was…
When nearing the end of one year and preparing for the start of another…we often talk about closing a chapter of life and opening a new one. We’re about to close the 2015 chapter and open the 2016 chapter. And even though 2015 and 2016 are just a day apart…it does give you the feeling of a fresh start…a new beginning!
As we prepare to close one chapter and open another, I don’t want to immediately take on the “fresh start” mentality…I want to take some time to reflect on the moments that built our 2015 chapter. And maybe for some of you, it’s going back even further than that. Maybe the last 3 years have been hard for you. Whatever your case, whatever your situation, I want to focus on the tough moments. The ones you don’t really want to remember or reflect on…the ones you want to think about briefly and then SLAM that chapter shut, never to be opened again. I want to reflect on those messes.
Why? Because there is so much importance in those messes…there is so much promise…so much beauty…so much hope!
And I want to start by sharing with you from Psalm 40…
(verses 1-3) “I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.”
Do you know what a miry bog is? It’s like a muddy, messy swamp! A place where if we walked into it, our feet would get stuck and we would begin to sink.
Can you relate to that at all while reflecting on your 2015 (or further back)? I know I felt like I was stuck in a miry bog at the beginning of the year…2014 was an especially tough year for my husband and I…we lost our 3 babies in 2014…and a bit of that trickled into 2015. Did you find yourself stuck or sinking during days, weeks, or months over the past year? Maybe you are still currently stuck or just beginning to sink…looking for a way out.
Perhaps you began and are ending 2015 with unanswered prayers. Perhaps you lost a loved one this year. Lost your job this year. Are struggling with addiction. Went through a divorce.
Or how about more day-to-day struggles…anger, impatience, always hurried or rushing, busyness, need for control, workaholic, constantly striving for perfection, low self-esteem or poor body image…sin.
Whatever messy swamp we find ourselves in, big or small…it’s certainly a feeling of being stuck.
Where do I go next? What decision is best? What should I do? How can I change this?
Let’s look back at Psalm 40 and see what David did…”
(v. 1) I waited patiently for the Lord…”
When stuck in that pit of destruction…when wrestling with sin…when doubting your faith…when trudging through that miry bog and yet still sinking deeper, we are to wait patiently for the Lord.
Ouch. That’s hard to do…human nature pushes us to “figure it out.” We want to make the decisions…we want to pick what happens. We want what we want and we want it NOW.
But hearing this is so important because if we put it into practice, we can guard ourselves from unbelief when our prayers seem unanswered and God’s answers and help seem to take far too long. By waiting patiently for the Lord, we can stop drawing deadlines for God. We can stop putting our hope in a new year, in a new tomorrow…and start putting our hope in the one who makes our paths straight. And we can begin trusting in His timing.
So when David waited patiently for the Lord…we see what happens…
The Lord heard his cry…He pulled David out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog…and set his feet upon a rock, making his steps secure (v. 2).
There is such promise in that mess…in that miry bog. There is such beauty in that mess…such HOPE in that mess…because of God.
Because He hears our cries, and He meets us in our mess and delivers us from our mire and muck. There is world of difference between a sticky, sinking, muddy, messy swamp and a steady ROCK. When God meets us in our mess, He moves us from a sense of hopelessness to a sense of security and confidence, and we are filled with HOPE!
Don’t slam the chapter shut if your 2015 did not deliver what you had hoped it would. Reflect on those moments…those messes…leave your chapter open and wait patiently for the Lord with outreached arms, ready to grab onto Him. He can create beauty from ashes…in His timing.
God is not done yet…your story is unfinished. He will meet you in your mess and set your feet upon a rock, making your steps secure. He sees your finished product and, in Him, it is beautiful.
Through my mess…God has shown me its beauty. He has shown me that my life plan should be to glorify Him…not to have things “just so” and to live comfortably with everything unfolding according to my plan…but to wait patiently for Him. To hope in Him. And to trust in Him and His timing.
Looking for a creative way to reflect and process your “mess”? Head over to Crazy Beyoutiful and see what Amy has in store for you today on her blog! She will be giving you some great “How-To’s” on getting a journal set up for 2016!
Join this conversation on Facebook or Instagram…What “mess” have you been stuck in…how will you trust God to meet you there and set your feet upon a rock? What mess will you declare beautiful in your life because God is there with you? Remember to use the hashtag #beYOUtifulmessage
See you again on Wednesday as we continue with the #beYOUtifulmessage series and “Embracing the Beauty of your MESSAGE“
His will, His way…